A micro-silicon chip for in vivo cerebral imprint in monkey.
ABSTRACT: Access to cerebral tissue is essential to better understand the molecular mechanisms associated with neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we present, for the first time, a new tool designed to obtain molecular and cellular cerebral imprints in the striatum of anesthetized monkeys. The imprint is obtained during a spatially controlled interaction of a chemically modified micro-silicon chip with the brain tissue. Scanning electron and immunofluorescence microscopies showed homogeneous capture of cerebral tissue. Nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (nano-LC-MS/MS) analysis of proteins harvested on the chip allowed the identification of 1158 different species of proteins. The gene expression profiles of mRNA extracted from the imprint tool showed great similarity to those obtained via the gold standard approach, which is based on post-mortem sections of the same nucleus. Functional analysis of the harvested molecules confirmed the spatially controlled capture of striatal proteins implicated in dopaminergic regulation. Finally, the behavioral monitoring and histological results establish the safety of obtaining repeated cerebral imprints in striatal regions. These results demonstrate the ability of our imprint tool to explore the molecular content of deep brain regions in vivo. They open the way to the molecular exploration of brain in animal models of neurological diseases and will provide complementary information to current data mainly restricted to post-mortem samples.
Project description:In mammals, genomic imprinting governed by DNA methyltransferase DNMT3A and its cofactor DNMT3L is essential for functional gametes. Oocyte-specific methylation imprints are established during oocyte growth concomitant with DNMT3A/DNMT3L expression, although the mechanisms of oocyte-specific imprinting are not fully understood. To determine whether the presence of DNMT3A/DNMT3L in oocytes is sufficient for acquisition of methylation imprints, we produced transgenic mice to induce DNMT3A/DNMT3L expression prematurely in oogenesis and analyzed DNA methylation imprints. The results showed that 2- to 4-fold greater expression of DNMT3A/DNMT3L was achieved in non-growing (ng) oocytes versus fully grown oocytes derived from wild-type mice, but the analyzed imprint domains were not methylated. Thus, the presence of DNMT3A/DNMT3L in ng oocytes is insufficient for methylation imprints, and imprinted regions are resistant to DNMT3A/DNMT3L in ng oocytes. In contrast, excess DNMT3A/DNMT3L accelerated imprint acquisition at Igf2r, Lit1, Zac1 and Impact but not Snrpn and Mest in growing oocytes. Therefore, DNMT3A/DNMT3L quantity is an important factor for imprint acquisition. Transcription at imprinted domains is proposed to be involved in de novo methylation; however, transcription at Lit1, Snrpn and Impact was observed in ng oocytes. Thus, transcription cannot induce DNMT3A catalysis at imprinted regions even if DNMT3A/DNMT3L is present. However, the accelerated methylation imprints in oocytes, with the exception of Igf2r, were erased during embryogenesis. In conclusion, a sufficient amount of DNMT3A/DNMT3L and a shift from the resistant to permissive state are essential to establish oocyte-specific methylation imprints and that maintenance of the acquired DNA methylation imprints is essential for functional imprinting.
Project description:Recently, several reports have been published that showed a higher incidence of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome compared with the general population, and in most of these patients, aberrant methylation imprints of KvDMR1 have been found. This has led to the concern that ART might increase the incidence of imprinting syndromes such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Not much is known on environmental or genetic factors that may interfere with the processes of imprint maintenance or resetting. A methylation analysis of KvDMR1 was performed in human oocytes at different stages of nuclear maturity and in sperm cells. The results indicate that the maternal methylation imprints were already established at the germinal vesicle stage, whereas all sperm cells were unmethylated, thereby showing that the KvDMR1 carries a germline methylation imprint. For one of the oocytes analysed, an unmethylated pattern was found, which highlights the need for further molecular studies that consider the safety of ART.
Project description:The study aimed to compare the usefulness of two staining methods for imprint cytology for diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection. Gastric biopsy specimens (from dyspeptic patients attending routine upper gastrointestinal endoscopy) were placed on glass slides to obtain imprints. The imprints were stained with Toluidine blue and Giemsa stains separately and observed under ×400 magnification using a light microscope. Imprinted biopsies were sectioned and stained with H & E stain and Giemsa stain for histological analysis. Diagnosis of H. pylori infection in both imprint and histological sections were confirmed by a consultant pathologist. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of each stain were calculated and benchmarked against histological diagnosis.Of the 55 dyspeptic patients enrolled in the study, 5 were positive for H. pylori by Toluidine blue stain and 4 by Giemsa stain. The sensitivity of Toluidine blue stain (57.1%) was higher than Giemsa stain (42.9%) while the specificity of both stains was equal (97.9%). Giemsa stain gave a better discrimination for identification of H. pylori bacteria among the mucosal background. Imprint cytology is a rapid, simple and cost effective diagnosis method that can supplement histological diagnosis.
Project description:Genome-wide DNA demethylation, including the erasure of genome imprints, in primordial germ cells (PGCs) is a critical first step to creating a totipotent epigenome in the germ line. We show here that, contrary to the prevailing model emphasizing active DNA demethylation, imprint erasure in mouse PGCs occurs in a manner largely consistent with replication-coupled passive DNA demethylation: PGCs erase imprints during their rapid cycling with little de novo or maintenance DNA methylation potential and no apparent major chromatin alterations. Our findings necessitate the re-evaluation of and provide novel insights into the mechanism of genome-wide DNA demethylation in PGCs.
Project description:Genomic imprinting in mammals is controlled by DNA methylation imprints that are acquired in the gametes, at essential sequence elements called 'imprinting control regions' (ICRs). What signals paternal imprint acquisition in male germ cells remains unknown. To address this question, we explored histone methylation at ICRs in mouse primordial germ cells (PGCs). By 13.5 days post coitum (d.p.c.), H3 lysine-9 and H4 lysine-20 trimethylation are depleted from ICRs in male (and female) PGCs, indicating that these modifications do not signal subsequent imprint acquisition, which initiates at ?15.5 d.p.c. Furthermore, during male PGC development, H3 lysine-4 trimethylation becomes biallelically enriched at 'maternal' ICRs, which are protected against DNA methylation, and whose promoters are active in the male germ cells. Remarkably, high transcriptional read-through is detected at the paternal ICRs H19-DMR and Ig-DMR at the time of imprint establishment, from one of the strands predominantly. Combined, our data evoke a model in which differential histone modification states linked to transcriptional events may signal the specificity of imprint acquisition during spermatogenesis.
Project description:To improve the efficacy of fibreoptic bronchoscopy in the diagnosis of peripheral lung cancer, we evaluated the effectiveness of various techniques for obtaining samples for cytological examination. Between January 1984 and December 2000, flexible fibreoptic bronchoscopy under fluoroscopic guidance was performed in 1372 patients with lung cancer having no visible endoscopic findings. Histological examination of specimens obtained by forceps biopsy and cytological examinations on imprints of biopsy specimens, brushing, selective bronchial lavage, curettage, transbronchial needle aspiration, rinse fluids of the forceps, brush, curette, and aspiration needle, and all fluids aspirated during the bronchoscopic examinations were evaluated for diagnostic power. Using these techniques, the overall diagnostic rate with bronchoscopy was 93.4%. The sensitivity of the histological examination was 76.9%; additional imprint cytology increased the sensitivity to 84.8% (P<0.0001), while additional cytology on the rinse fluid of the forceps increased the sensitivity to 83.7% (P<0.0001). The addition of both imprint cytology and cytology on the rinse fluid of the forceps increased the diagnostic rate to 86.2% (P<0.0001). Our results indicate that cytological examinations of the imprints of biopsy samples and the rinse fluids of the forceps and the brush improve the efficacy of fibreoptic bronchoscopy in the diagnosis of peripheral lung cancer.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Plants can withstand many abiotic stresses. Stress adaptation through retention of imprints of previous stress exposure has also been described in plants. We have characterized the imprint or memory of adaptive stress responses of rice seedlings to arsenic (As) and heat stress. METHODOLOGY:Two-week-old rice seedlings (both with and without As) were given a 45 °C heat shock for 3 h. While under heat shock, the leafy portion of the seedlings was harvested at regular intervals. Subsequently, the seedlings were kept at room temperature for recovery and sampling continued over 3 h. Total RNA and protein were extracted from the leafy portion of the seedlings and complementary DNA (cDNA) was prepared from total RNA. The cDNA was used as a template for the polymerase chain reaction to identify the transcription level of HSP70. Protein extracted from the seedlings was western-blotted. HSP70 and actin (loading control) antibodies were used to recognize the proteins on the same blot. PRINCIPAL RESULTS:Our studies reveal that HSP70, a cellular chaperone gene, is over-expressed at the mRNA and protein levels when rice seedlings are exposed to As and heat. The effect is cumulative and increases with the duration of stress for 3 h. During 3 h recovery from heat stress at ambient temperatures for 3 h, the chaperone remains expressed at higher levels in plants pre-exposed to As. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings demonstrate a retention of the imprint of previous stress exposure, perhaps through sustained activation of the signalling pathways upstream of over-expression of HSP70. Furthermore, stress-induced HSP70 expression was additive/cumulative for continued exposure to similar or different kinds of stress, indicating that a commonality of signal transduction networks is adopted when plants experience more than one stress.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Securing negative surgical margins is a critical goal for head and neck surgery. Local recurrence develops even in some patients who have histologically negative surgical margins. Minimal residual tumor cells may lead to locoregional recurrence despite clear histologic margins reported at the time of resection of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). To identify subclinical residual disease, the authors analyzed deep margin imprint samples collected on 1-layer nitrocellulose sheets. METHODS:Bisulfite-treated DNA samples from 73 eligible patients were amplified by quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (QMSP) targeting 6 genes (deleted in colorectal cancer [DCC], endothelin receptor type B [EDNRB], homeobox protein A9 [HOXA9], kinesin family member 1A [KIF1A], nidogen-2 [NID2], and N-methyl D-aspartate receptor subtype 2B [NR2B]). QMSP values were dichotomized as positive or negative. Associations between the QMSP status of deep margin samples and clinical outcomes were evaluated. RESULTS:Two-gene methylation combinations among the genes DCC, EDNRB, and HOXA9 were associated with decreased locoregional recurrence-free survival, recurrence-free survival, and overall survival. The methylated gene combination of EDNRB and HOXA9 in margin imprints was the most powerful predictor of poor locoregional recurrence-free survival (hazard ratio [HR], 3.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.30-8.46; P =?.012) independent of standard histologic factors. In addition, methylation of both EDNRB and HOXA9 indicated a trend toward reduced recurrence-free survival (HR, 2.74; 95% CI, 0.90-8.33; P =?.075) and reduced OS (HR, 5.78; 95% CI, 0.75-44.7; P =?.093) in multivariable analysis. CONCLUSIONS:A panel of gene methylation targets in deep surgical margin imprints provides a potential predictive marker of postoperative locoregional recurrence. Intraoperative use of molecular margin imprint analysis may assist surgeons in obtaining rigorously negative surgical margins and improve the outcome of head and neck surgery.
Project description:At the heart of genomic imprinting in mammals are imprinting control regions (ICRs), which are the discrete genetic elements that confer imprinted monoallelic expression to several genes in imprinted gene clusters. A characteristic of the known ICRs is that they acquire different epigenetic states, exemplified by differences in DNA methylation, in the sperm and egg, and these imprint marks remain on the sperm- and oocyte-derived alleles into the next generation as a lifelong memory of parental origin. Although there has been much focus on gametic marking of ICRs as the point of imprint specification, recent mechanistic studies and genome-wide DNA methylation profiling do not support the existence of a specific imprinting machinery in germ cells. Rather, ICRs are part of more widespread methylation events that occur during gametogenesis. Instead, a decisive component in the specification of imprints is the choice of which sites of gamete-derived methylation to maintain in the zygote and preimplantation embryo at a time when much of the remainder of the genome is being demethylated. Among the factors involved in this selection, the zinc-finger protein Zfp57 can be regarded as an imprint-specific, sequence-specific DNA binding factor responsible for maintaining methylation at most ICRs. The recent insights into the balance of gametic and zygotic contributions to imprint specification should help understand mechanistic opportunities and constraints on the evolution of imprinting in mammals.
Project description:Selective degeneration of striatal neurons is a pathologic hallmark of Huntington disease (HD). The exact mechanism(s) behind this specific neurodegeneration is still unknown. Expression studies of diseased human post-mortem brain, as well as different mouse models exhibiting striatal degeneration, have demonstrated changes in the expression of many important genes with a large proportion of changes being observed in the striatal-enriched genes. These investigations have raised questions about how enrichment of particular transcripts in the striatum can lead to its selective vulnerability to neurodegeneration. Monitoring the expression changes of striatal-enriched genes during the course of the disease may be informative about their potential involvement in selective degeneration. In this study, we analyzed a Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE) database (www.mouseatlas.org) and compared the mouse striatum to 18 other brain regions to generate a novel list of striatal-enriched transcripts. These novel striatal-enriched transcripts were subsequently evaluated for expression changes in the YAC128 mouse model of HD, and differentially expressed transcripts were further examined in human post-mortem caudate samples. We identified transcripts with altered expression in YAC128 mice, which also showed consistent expression changes in human post-mortem tissue. The identification of novel striatal-enriched genes with altered expression in HD offers new avenues of study, leading towards a better understanding of specific pathways involved in the selective degeneration of striatal neurons in HD.